Friday’s Kettlebell Workout – Fitness Blender’s Kettlebell Til You Drop

Heeeeeey, it’s Friday!!! Do you know what that means? It means it’s BELLS DAY!!! (As an aside, I really hope to have something new and exciting to show you regarding bells soon, keep your eyes peeled.)

On Fridays I do Fitness Blender’s Kettlebell ’til you Drop video, which includes a warmup and a cooldown in a 40 minute video. I have NOT mastered this video yet. It’s NOT easy. Here’s the list of exercises:

KB Swing
KB Full Swing
KB Single Arm Swing, alternating
KB Rack (L & R)
KB Bottom Up Rack and Hold (L & R)
KB Squat and Press (L & R)
KB Halos (clockwise and counterclockwise)
Lunge with Single Arm Swing (L & R) [This is seriously difficult]
Lunge w/ twist, alternating
KB Straight leg Dead Lift (single leg)
Turkish Get Up (L and R) [probably the most complicated]
KB Pull Over (L and R)
KB Hammer Curl (bottom up position) [I use 10-lb handweights because I don’t have a light enough bell for this]
Overhead Tricep Extension
KB Side Crunch (L and R)
KB Toe Touch crunch [for some reason, I really love this one]
KB Russian Twist
KB Back Bow (bottom Up)

So, I’ve been trying to work on my squat forms, because I’m terrible at them. I got some advice from the Better Body Facebook Group (it’s a closed group so you’ll need to join to see stuff) to imagine spreading the earth with your feet, and it works! It helps me keep my heels on the floor while squatting. My form is still pretty crappy, but I’m working on it. Lunges too, I need to work on getting lower. With this workout, focusing on form is incredibly important (okay, let’s be honest, kettlebell workouts should ALWAYS focus on form, because you can seriously injure yourself if you’re not careful), so go SLOW if you need to. When I need to work on form, I stand in front of my full length mirror to watch myself do the moves, which helps.

I do not do abs after this workout, because it includes several ab-related exercises, like the Russian twist and the side crunch.

So what do you think? Do you use Fitness Blender for anything? Will you give this video a shot? Let me know in the comments!

Monday’s Kettlebell Workout – The Ladder

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Mommy, you need to get off the couch and do your workout!

This past December, I was e-mailed a new workout by the same SparkFriend who had sent me my original timed workout. At the time, he described it as “The Twelve Bells of Christmas”. I was supposed to do this workout only from about mid-December through the New Year. Unlike the previous workout, it’s untimed, and is in a ladder format.

A ladder workout is a method of strength and sports training where you perform one or more exercises with an ascending and descending repetition pattern. Ladders are muscular endurance and conditioning workouts designed to help you increase your overall training volumes while maintaining proper form and technique. The number of exercises per workout and the number of reps between sets depends on your muscular strength and endurance. In general, beginner ladders involve one exercise, while advanced ladders involve two or three. (Source: http://livehealthy.chron.com/ladder-workouts-4564.html)

Basically, you pretend you’re singing the Twelve Days of Christmas, and begin the first round by doing only the first move. Then, the second round is the second move, done twice, followed by the first move done once. Third round is the third move, done three times, followed by the second move, done twice, followed by the first move, done once, et cetera, et cetera and so forth until you’ve done all twelve rounds. Take a short break in between rounds, but only as needed (and you’ll need it towards the end, I assure you).

Without further ado, here is the workout:

  1. Goblet Squat
  2. Sumo Dead Lifts
  3. Clean and Press (switch sides each round)
  4. High Pulls (switch sides each round)
  5. Toe Touches/Windmills (switch sides each round)
  6. Squat Press
  7. Around the World (switch directions each round)
  8. 2-Handed Swing
  9. Bent Over Row (switch sides each round)
  10. Figure 8s
  11. Around the Body Stalls (switch directions each round)
  12. 1-Arm Swings (per side, 24 total)*

This workout is serious business, but, with it not being timed, you can focus on form. I workout in front of a full length mirror so I can watch my form and make sure I’m not going to injure myself.

Wednesday’s Kettlebell Workout – The Circuit

Back sweat, baby!
Back sweat, baby!

This workout was provided to me by a SparkFriend in early September, and I spent at least a week being downright afraid of it. I was still doing the 8-minute video I started out with, so the idea of doing such an intense workout that was three times the length was seriously intimidating. But after a little encouragement, I gave it a shot. Never before had I had sweat drip down my shins. MY SHINS! It was hard, but doable and ridiculously satisfying.

The whole shebang takes about 30 minutes. You do each move for 1 minute, then move onto the next. I have an app on my phone that let’s me have 8 1-minute timers with a 5-second timer in between for changing positions. You don’t want to leave too much time between each move or your heart rate will drop and you’ll lose the cardio benefit. Once you finish the first round, then you can take a 2-3 minute break. Repeat twice for a total of 3 rounds.

1. 2-Handed Swing

2. 1-Arm Swings (per side, 24 total)*

3. High Elbows

4. Toe Touches/Windmills (switch sides each round)

5. Squat Press

6. Sumo Dead Lifts

7. Clean and Press (switch sides each round)

8. Figure 8s

I started doing this workout three days a week, and now I do it on Wednesdays. It’s my shortest workout, so perfect for hump day. This workout is pretty intense, due to its timed nature, but you can start with low, slow reps at the beginning until you get the hang of it, then build up your speed and intensity as you master the moves. I always do a quick ab circuit after this one, which I’ll detail at a later date. If you try this workout, let me know how it goes!